SINGAPORE, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.72 percent lower on Monday, dragged by uncertainty over when U.S. will wind down its monetary stimulus program.
Last Friday, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said that Federal Reserve may start to wind down the stimulus program in October, depending on upcoming economic data. As three Federal Reserve officials will speak this week, headlined by New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley, investors chose to stay sidelined to seek clarity.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel won landslide victory in Germany's general election, but her conservatives appeared just short of the votes needed to rule on their own which left open the possibility of a "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), who came a distant second. In the past, establishing a coalition accord has taken between four and eight weeks.
DBS Group Research said a pullback of the local bourse to test the immediate support at 3,200 points is possible this week, adding that "a consolidation band from around 3,200 points and 3, 250 points or a pullback to 3,200 points followed by 3,165 points is seen in coming weeks or month before rising again."
OCBC Investment Research said "global market sentiment waxed and waned in the wake of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee 's no-taper decision last week as mixed Federal Reserve rhetoric added to the confusion." The research house added that the Straits Times Index to find support at 3,220 points.
CIMB Research said there could be a tad more upside to retest the 3,277 points high. Above that would be its previous resistance trend line at 3,360 points.
The benchmark Straits Times Index dropped 23.28 points to close 3,214.25 points. Trading volume was 4.33 billion shares worth 1.29 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 277 to 189, while 487 stocks closed unchanged.
Among top actives, YHM Group jumped 14 percent to 5.7 Singapore cents. It has secured a contract with a value of up to approximately 183 million U.S. dollars over a three-year period with an additional two year extendable option to provide a semi- submersible rig to be used by a Southeast Asian based national oil company to support its oil and gas activities in the Andaman Sea.
Keppel Corporation shed 0.3 percent to 10.81 Singapore dollars. It has sold its entire stake in Berich Enterprises and Keppel Kazakhstan LLP for 32.5 million U.S. dollars cash. The principal activities of Keppel Kazakhstan are the design, engineering and construction of barges, pontoons, pipe racks, modules and drilling units for the oil and gas industry in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Among the top gainers, Blumont surged 8.4 percent to 2.14 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by dropping 3.6 percent to 55.90 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.25 Singapore dollars)